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1.0 EcoBoost 'wet belt' issue


LiloLea
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Hi Folks, I have an 2018 Focus 1.0 EcoBoost ST-Line X that has developed a rogue engine noise. Took it into my local garage immediately & have been told it needs a new engine most probably due to degradation of the wet belt. I'm out of warranty but the car has only done 23k & last serviced by Ford at 17k. Only issue being that it's last service was over 12mths ago as I haven't been doing a daily commute as working from home. 

It's booked in at Ford now for diagnostics & for them to consider paying a contribution to the hefty cost to fix. Anyone had a similar issue & if so, any luck with Ford paying a contribution? 

Also, can anyone confirm if the Mk4 1.0l engine now has a timing chain instead? 

Thanks in advance

Lea

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1 hour ago, LiloLea said:

Only issue being that it's last service was over 12mths ago as I haven't been doing a daily commute as working from home. 

And there's your probable cause. The service schedule goes off mileage or age, whichever comes first.

There's dozens of topics about the exact same issue on the forum. If you've had a full service history from Ford and serviced on time (but you're outside the warranty by a few months) then they can sometimes offer a goodwill gesture and replace the engine for free.

The new 1.0L engines are chain driven, but there is still a wetbelt for the oil pump.

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Interesting one this. I assume we are talking about a Mk 3.5 Focus which Iirc had a service interval of 12,500 miles/12 months whichever came first? So as Luke rightly says, strictly speaking it hasn't been serviced on schedule. If your car has been stood getting little use (as many of our cars have over the last couple of years) that won't have helped.

The Mk 4 (which has the cam chain/oil pump wetbelt) arrangement has a different (longer) service interval.

However, so does the Mk 8 Fiesta which continued with the wet belt for cam drive until 2020, with, as far as I have been able to ascertain, no changes to engine or oil specification to accommodate the longer service intervals.

Most of the cases of degraded wet belts we have seen on here have occurred at much higher mileage than yours in cars with poor service history.

I would think you at least have some grounds to try for a contribution. If a Mk 8 Fiesta with the same engine is ok to go 2 years/18,000 miles between services, why isn't yours? Though I can see Ford sticking to "the letter of the law" in terms of adhering to the service schedule. And they do say oil should be changed more frequently when cars are getting little use.

Incidentally I and many others on here don't trust the revised Ford intervals on our Mk 8s and have continued with annual oil/filter changes.

Good luck!

 

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3 hours ago, LiloLea said:

Hi Folks, I have an 2018 Focus 1.0 EcoBoost ST-Line X that has developed a rogue engine noise. Took it into my local garage immediately & have been told it needs a new engine most probably due to degradation of the wet belt. I'm out of warranty but the car has only done 23k & last serviced by Ford at 17k. Only issue being that it's last service was over 12mths ago as I haven't been doing a daily commute as working from home. 

It's booked in at Ford now for diagnostics & for them to consider paying a contribution to the hefty cost to fix. Anyone had a similar issue & if so, any luck with Ford paying a contribution? 

Also, can anyone confirm if the Mk4 1.0l engine now has a timing chain instead? 

Thanks in advance

Lea

I would be getting a second opinion on it.23,000 is a very low for a failure.Oil changes are of paramount importance with these.I do mine twice a year.

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1 hour ago, Luke4efc said:

And there's your probable cause. The service schedule goes off mileage or age, whichever comes first.

There's dozens of topics about the exact same issue on the forum. If you've had a full service history from Ford and serviced on time (but you're outside the warranty by a few months) then they can sometimes offer a goodwill gesture and replace the engine for free.

The new 1.0L engines are chain driven, but there is still a wetbelt for the oil pump.

Correct, servicing is time based.

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I would recommend a oil change every 6000 to 9000 miles but i think 23k is low as Hackney mentioned (and i agree at that) and you also had last service at 17k even if its over 12 months ago.

A wetbelt on the oil pump and or timing is somewhat been fairly common on different engines as i have heard (7 different engines have it as i know to this date.)

I wish you good luck LiloLea, i hope it will turns out good for you 🤞🍀🙂

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1 hour ago, NorwayFocus82 said:

I would recommend a oil change every 6000 to 9000 miles but i think 23k is low as Hackney mentioned (and i agree at that) and you also had last service at 17k even if its over 12 months ago.

A wetbelt on the oil pump and or timing is somewhat been fairly common on different engines as i have heard (7 different engines have it as i know to this date.)

I wish you good luck LiloLea, i hope it will turns out good for you 🤞🍀🙂

Yup,I change mine twice a year, regardless of mileage.Oil & filters are cheap,a blown engine is not,(& yes I keep on ‘harping’ on about that.)Peugeot also use wet timing belts, they are not that uncommon.

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5 hours ago, steve67 said:

Reading about services, wet belt and failures...my focus has only done 5k in the last year ..so I'm booked in for an mot and oil service next week and will swap the oil out every year regardless of miles

Do it twice a year.Oil is cheap.

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I don’t really understand why makers changed from dry belts to wet belts. What advantage did it give? I can’t see how it saved money, pretty much same parts, just in a different place.  And I don’t see it saved space either as the length of engine still needs to take into account the width of belt. Perhaps it helps reduce engine noise but I would have thought it would be very slight. 

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7 hours ago, unofix said:

Well it is in the UAE, not so cheap in the UK

It has always been cheap in the UAE.They drill for the stuff.Every where else in the world it has gone up.At the end of the day,there is not much you can do about it.

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11 hours ago, isetta said:

I don’t really understand why makers changed from dry belts to wet belts. What advantage did it give? I can’t see how it saved money, pretty much same parts, just in a different place.  And I don’t see it saved space either as the length of engine still needs to take into account the width of belt. Perhaps it helps reduce engine noise but I would have thought it would be very slight. 

Reduced friction losses is the main reason for a wetbelt over a dry belt or chain.  Saves a few CO2s per car...emissions is all that matters to manufacturers nowadays. :sad: 

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12 hours ago, unofix said:

Well it is in the UAE, not so cheap in the UK

Labour to replace the oil isn't cheap either for people that can't do it themselves.  I haven't used a garage for anything other than MOT for the last decade.  And have been utterly shocked by prices quoted for servicing and repairs this year!  Honestly don't know how people on lower incomes manage to maintain older cars nowadays.

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

Labour to replace the oil isn't cheap either for people that can't do it themselves. 

Yes, quite right, Tom. I feel fortunate that, at the time in my life when I was so skint the only way I could afford to run a car was diy, that (a) cars were relatively easy to understand and work on and (b) I was young and fit enough to be crawling underneath, dropping gearboxes etc. No way I could do it now!

 

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Just wait till we have electric Fire Engines, Ambulances, Police cars. You can imagine the response when you call 999 and the dispatcher says "your call is very important to us, we have been very busy and are just waiting for a couple of hours while we recharge our vehicles. Please call back" 🤔

 

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4 hours ago, unofix said:

Just wait till we have electric Fire Engines, Ambulances, Police cars. You can imagine the response when you call 999 and the dispatcher says "your call is very important to us, we have been very busy and are just waiting for a couple of hours while we recharge our vehicles. Please call back" 🤔

 

No, they'll be too busy putting out electric vehicle fires 😀:

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/electric-cars/how-much-fire-risk-are-electric-vehicles

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  • 2 months later...

This happened to me yesturday.  My 6 year old Ford Focus that has done 72000 miles had an oil light come on. I took it straight to the garage.  The wet belt has completely disintegrated and ruined my engine.  The car is a right off. 9500 pounds worth. Gone. I've done a lot of digging and it would appear this is very common my garage has seen 5 this year (it April) and the scrap company get 5 or 6 a week.  I won't have a leg to stand on cos I was ill last year (covid) and didn't get it serviced.  The new engines they are putting in the wet belts now have a seal protection around them so Ford clearly knew there was a problem.  Every garage I have spoken to says even if I got the car fixed (around 5 grand) get rid of it.  

I have always got my cars serviced but did not realise the implications of missing a service on a car with with wet belt.  I mean who asks when they buy a car if it has a wet belt or not!?

I am beyond panicked financially.  Don't know what to do.  And feel sick that I have been scammed / duped by Ford.

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On 2/23/2022 at 7:28 AM, Hackney said:

Peugeot also use wet timing belts, they are not that uncommon.

Well, three manufacturers (Ford, Peugeot, Honda), together with four engine families, having wet belt - out of all car and car engine manufacturers in the World. I would say, wet belt engine construction is uncommon.

Millions of engines manufactured, thus viewpoint of amount, wet belt engine is not uncommon.

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1 hour ago, Winiboo said:

This happened to me yesturday.  My 6 year old Ford focus that has done 72000 miles had an oil light come on. I took it straight to the garage.  The wet belt has completely disintegrated and ruined my engine.  The car is a right off. 9500 pounds worth. Gone. I've done a lot of digging and it would appear this is very common my garage has seen 5 this year (it April) and the scrap company get 5 or 6 a week.  I won't have a leg to stand on cos I was ill last year (covid) and didn't get it serviced.  The new engines they are putting in the wet belts now have a seal protection around them so Ford clearly knew there was a problem.  Every garage I have spoken to says even if I got the car fixed (around 5 grand) get rid of it.  

I have always got my cars serviced but did not realise the implications of missing a service on a car with with wet belt.  I mean who asks when they buy a car if it has a wet belt or not!?

I am beyond panicked financially.  Don't know what to do.  And feel sick that I have been scammed / duped by Ford.

Sorry to hear this.  Though one late service is unlikely to cause it alone.  I wonder if the car previously had the wrong oil or an engine flush used?  Ford do specify the correct type of oil and a service schedule, if this wasn't followed, it's not really their fault.  Have you contacted Ford to ask for any goodwill anyway?  Never know if you don't ask...

Assuming they don't offer a goodwill gesture, you've really got 3 options.  1.  sell the car spares & repairs, will get more money than scrapping it.  2.  Have a good used engine fitted as cheaply as possible (considerably less than £5k!) and then sell or PX the car asap afterwards.  (I'll leave the moral dilemma to you there.)  Or 3. have a new or refurbished engine fitted at considerable cost, but keep the car for another 3 years or so, following the service schedule.  I appreciate you may need to borrow some money to do option 2 or 3, but that seems like a better value alternative than just scrapping it.

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1 hour ago, Winiboo said:

This happened to me yesturday.  My 6 year old Ford focus that has done 72000 miles had an oil light come on. I took it straight to the garage.  The wet belt has completely disintegrated and ruined my engine.  The car is a right off. 9500 pounds worth. Gone. I've done a lot of digging and it would appear this is very common my garage has seen 5 this year (it April) and the scrap company get 5 or 6 a week.  I won't have a leg to stand on cos I was ill last year (covid) and didn't get it serviced.  The new engines they are putting in the wet belts now have a seal protection around them so Ford clearly knew there was a problem.  Every garage I have spoken to says even if I got the car fixed (around 5 grand) get rid of it.  

I have always got my cars serviced but did not realise the implications of missing a service on a car with with wet belt.  I mean who asks when they buy a car if it has a wet belt or not!?

I am beyond panicked financially.  Don't know what to do.  And feel sick that I have been scammed / duped by Ford.

I think it would be fair to say you are in the situation of 'Damage Limitation' and how to get out of a big hole for the least amount of money.

A secondhand engine form a vehicle recycling centre (scrapyard) can be bought for £1500 - £1800. A small independent will fit the engine for about £1300 - £1600.

Normally myself and the others here on the forum would recommend servicing and replacing the wet belts on the replacement engine before it's fitted but that would cost an extra £600 - £800.

My advice would be get the minimum work done. Use secondhand engine and a small independent garage ( try and get them to source the engine if they will.) so it will cost at best £2800 and at worst £3400. Then sell the car immediately it's running.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi,

I have found this thread whilst doing searches on the internet for our current problem. We are just starting this process with Ford - our car is a 2018 1.0 Ecoboost ST Line Focus Automatic, we have owned it for a year ( Feb 2021 ) and we bought it from an Ancaster Dealership, it was serviced by them when we purchased it, and prior to that Ford dealerships, so all up to date inc the one we had done a month or so ago. Then last Tuesday my other half was on the M40 on his way to work, no warning lights, engine cut out. Was towed back here to a garage to be told the wet belt is the issue, engine overheated leading to crap in the engine and quoted £8k for a new engine.  Since then we find out that all garages seem to call this the "Ecoboom" engine for the amount of cars they see with this issue ( and a whole Facebook group dedicated to it ! ).

The car has not been sat idle as my partner has continued working through lockdown and been taking it to the station, so it's been driven every day. Ford customer services are being difficult ( as expected ) saying if it is outside Manufactures Warranty there is not much they can do, but there is a whole group of people with this exact problem on this car ( specifically the automatic ) and we have found a notice from Ford themselves to the dealers in the US warning them of this issue - so they know. Am just wondering how many years it will take them to acknowledge this, considering how long it took them to admit to the cooling issue.   

I have always trusted Ford, it's a name you believe you can trust - but we will never buy Ford again, we cannot afford £8k for a new engine on a car that is 4years old with 50k on the clock for an issue they are fully aware of, but are totally denying exists. We are paying out again for another diagnostics and to get the car to Ford for them to look at, but i'm not holding much hope they will cover this, which means we are left with a car that we cannot drive and with Finance still to pay. I am beyond angry with them.

 

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These kind of problems in the USA nearly always end up as a 'Class Action Lawsuit' it's only a pity that in such cases we don't have the same to fall back on in the UK.

Personally I would start contacting as many TV programmes as you can think of that look in to these type of consumer problems. It may well be worth speaking to a solicitor who specialises in consumer laws (you quite often find you can get 30 minutes advice for free).

There are many on forums who will say it's because "it wasn't serviced" or "the wrong oil was used" which in some cases is true but personally I think in a large number of cases, to use someone else's phrase "the engine spontaneously self combusts" through no fault of the owner.

I wish you good luck with your battle with 'Ford Customer Relations' and please keep the forum updated so that it maybe of help to others. 

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I'd be getting trading standards and citizens advice involved.

You have consumer rights against the dealer who sold it to you, things like this is the time to use them

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So to update where we are with this... the car has been delivered to Ford this morning for them to do their own diagnostics and confirm what we already know they will find. 

The lady at customer relations is still being deliberately vague, she says they will look at it and send the report and any parts off to the main Ford place for them to see if this is actually a Manufacturer defect, or something we have caused ( they keep mentioning the servicing and oil as expected ), she keeps stating all calls are recorded and we ask for an email backup of our calls so we have it in writing - but as yet she seems incapable of typing an email so we are doing that for her, so we know exactly what was said. We have also dictated back to her Fords own detailing on the wet belt and how long it is expected to last - up to 150k.  She has stated that they will get back to us and see what they can do, and hinted at a reduction in costs to get it fixed. We have explained to her in no uncertain terms that we will be taking it further with every agency we have at our disposal if they try and lay this at our door. The guy at the garage we took it to says he has seen a number of these, but ours is by far the worst especially on a car that was working perfectly and had no issues right up to the second it cut out with no warning.

She thinks they will know on Wednesday where they will be with it, so here's to fingers crossed that Wednesday will have a happy outcome !

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